Yorkshire Cancer Research funds the multi-million pound Yorkshire Lung Screening Trial, the first of its kind in the UK. Working alongside this hugely successful project, the Yorkshire Stop Smoking Study tests whether people can be encouraged to stop smoking by giving them pictures from their own lung scans, showing possible lung and heart damage. Information is also provided about how stopping smoking reduces the risk of cancer and heart attacks.
It is possible to prevent some forms of cancer. That’s why we are investing in research and programmes to reduce the risk of developing cancer. We know smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer and by funding research into stop-smoking projects, we can find ways to effectively lower the number of smokers. This in turn will reduce premature deaths from lung cancer in Yorkshire.
There are many stop-smoking services across the region but more work needs to be done to improve their effectiveness and tackle smoking in Yorkshire. If we can prove that this new approach - combining lung health checks with stop-smoking interventions - is effective, we can roll out similar projects across Yorkshire.
This study could reach as many as 1000 people with a life-changing, stop-smoking intervention. The health benefits of stopping smoking start almost immediately with a drop in heart rate and blood pressure. The risk of cardiovascular disease reduces within one year. Within five years there are significant reductions in the risk of developing cancer of the lung, throat, mouth, oesophagus and bladder, compared to those who continue to smoke. After ten years, the lung cancer death rate is around half that of a continued smoker.
When a smoker successfully quits, there are a whole range of other benefits around their own wellbeing and that of their family and friends. Removing smoking around children helps to protect their long term health prospects too.
Yorkshire Stop Smoking Study
Prof Rachel Murray – University of Nottingham